JetBlue has finally launched a much-anticipated first transatlantic route after revealing it will start multiple daily flights to London from both Boston and New York in 2021.
The US carrier said the new routes will be served by Airbus A321LR single-aisle aircraft with a reimagined version of its premium product Mint, and it is evaluating which London airports it will serve.
JetBlue president and chief operating officer, Joanna Geraghty said: “Twenty years ago, our founders had a simple formula for choosing a new market – it had to be overpriced, underserved, or both.
“London is the largest metro area JetBlue doesn’t yet serve from both Boston and New York, and we could not be more thrilled to be changing that in the years ahead. The fares being charged today by airlines on these routes, specifically on the premium end, are enough to make you blush.”
JetBlue said its entrance into the transatlantic market will introduce a “new era of customer-focused, low-fare travel” for both leisure and business travelers.
The airline’s Mint premium experience, which disrupted transcontinental travel in the US with accessible fares and a thoughtful reinvention of the business class cabin, it said promises to offer transatlantic customers a fresh choice.
Growth into Europe is the next natural step in JetBlue’s focus city expansion strategy, with London being the largest destination not served by JetBlue from both New York and Boston.
JetBlue said the new service will strengthen its relevance in its two largest focus cities while also answering calls from loyal business and leisure customers who have, until now, been forced to fly other carriers to and from London.
JetBlue chief executive officer Robin Hayes will deliver a keynote address today (11 April) at The Aviation Club in London in which he will discuss the announcement, as well as address competition concerns and airport access challenges in Europe.
“The big airlines will tell you that competition has never been more robust, but the smaller airlines have never found it harder to get access,” said Geraghty.
“It’s time for regulators here in the U.S. and across Europe to create conditions where smaller carriers and new entrants can thrive, instead of letting the giant airlines get even bigger through joint ventures. Given a chance to compete, JetBlue can have a tremendous effect on lowering fares and stimulating traffic.”
JetBlue said the A321LR will allow it to tap into new long-haul markets that were not previously accessible with its current single-aisle aircraft. JetBlue will initially convert 13 aircraft in its existing A321 order book to the LR version with the ability to convert more.
Today, JetBlue serves nearly two dozen countries. The airline has been flying internationally for nearly 15 years with a significant portion of its operations in the Caribbean and Latin America with flights reaching as far south as Ecuador and Peru.
Unique to European expansion plans, JetBlue has created an internal team to begin the certification process for ETOPS, which permits extended operations for two engine aircraft over water.
Additional details about specific schedules, when seats will go on sale, as well as more information about transatlantic Mint, Core and much more will be announced in the coming months.